Thursday, March 30, 2023
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NBA Preview: Washington Wizards (27-30) at Minnesota Timberwolves (31-29)

When the Washington Wizards play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday in Minneapolis, Kristaps Porzingis and the team hope to continue their explosive play.

In Washington’s 126-101 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, Porzingis had 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists. The victory was the Wizards’ sixth in their last eight on the road and their ninth in their last 13 overall.

Porzingis reached 20 points for the 14th time in his last 19 games by connecting on 10 of 15 shots from the floor and all seven attempts from the foul line. In his most recent encounter with the Timberwolves, Washington defeated them 142-127 on Nov. 28, and he set a new standard by scoring a career-high 41 points.

Minnesota probably has a different reason for remembering that game. Karl-Anthony Towns, a three-time All-Star, needed assistance to leave the court after suffering an injury to his right calf in the third quarter. He has not yet resumed playing the game.

After missing four games due to a left ankle sprain, Kyle Kuzma scored 33 points on Tuesday in his return to the game after scoring 23 points in the previous encounter with the Timberwolves.

The Wizards shot 51.5% from three-point range (17 of 33) thanks to Kuzma’s six of ten attempts.

Bradley Beal was quick to credit his team’s adjustments on defense, which helped turn the tide on Tuesday, despite Washington’s effective offensive performance.

On Thursday, the Wizards’ primary concern in this regard will be Anthony Edwards, who is currently in his third season after being selected with the top overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and has posted career-best statistics in a number of categories.

Edwards, who is making his first All-Star team, is averaging 24.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Additionally, he is shooting 46.5% from the floor and 36.6% from three-point range.

The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Dallas Mavericks 124-121 on Monday thanks to 32 points from Edwards. The Timberwolves nearly lost a 26-point lead but held on to win.

To keep Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, and the Mavericks at bay, Minnesota needed to make one last defensive stand.

Monday, Rudy Gobert scored 21 points and hit all nine of his shots. In addition, he grabbed 14 rebounds for Minnesota, which has lost and won its last nine games.

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